Chapter 74 – Arken’s Tragic Love Song
The day after dealing with the great-costumer elf.
It was the day after we had finished our usual peddling in the square, and we were on our way back to the orphanage in Mitra.
On the side of the road just outside the square, a bardess was singing a poem.
Our eyes met, and I stopped and bowed lightly.
Then the other person looked at me and bowed lightly while singing.
“Albus. Do you know each other?”
“Yes, I know her. She escorted me once before.”
The bardess’s name was Amaranthia.
She was the one who accepted my escort quest with Burgess and Liora when I came from the town of Mort to the fortified city of Kilket.
And it seems that she did a good job of advertising my products, which I had half-heartedly asked her to do at the time.
That was also the reason why Arcana’s herb paste started selling well.
For me, I am quite indebted to her.
“I thought Loloi was only “escort” of Albus!!”
Loloi is surprised and a bit saddened for some reason.
“Albus is a “womanizer”…”
And because she suddenly said something strange, the audience who had gathered to listen to Amaranthia’s singing gave me very strange looks.
“What’s a “womanizer”, mom?”
“Shh, don look.”
“Don’t say it in a misleading way. That was before I met Loloi.”
Yareyare, I , too, what are I making excuses for ….
“It looks like she’s just getting started, why don’t we listen to her song for a while…?”
“If it’s what Albus want…”
“I’ve been in business with Amaranthia before and she’s helped me out. I wanted to thank her properly.”
It would be rude to the singer to just throw in a few coins and leave without listening to the song.
“Then, we must listen the song until the end. This is first time Loloi heard a bard sing properly.”
It is quite unusual nowadays to have never heard a bard sing before.
I wonder if Loloi has been so busy with treasure hunts that she has never been exposed to such entertainment.
Incidentally, what Amaranthia is singing now was a performance called “Arken’s Tragic Song.”
The content is dark, but it is a relatively well-known story.
I explained the story in a whisper to Loloi, who had started listening in the middle of the song and seemed to be somewhat unfamiliar with it.
This is the story of a town boy and a girl who used to be a nobleman but fell from grace and became a minstrel for a living.
The boy leaves his work at home to go to her every day, where she sings poetry on the street corner.
The two never spoke a word to each other, but in fact, they had feelings for each other.
“…I guess that’s the part that Amaranthia has sung so far.”
Loloi didn’t seem very interested.
Amaranthia’s singing continued.
The song continues with a small stringed instrument called a “vitale,” which is sometimes joyfully, sometimes sadly strummed as the story is spun out.
While liking each other.
They never spoke a word to each other, and soon they were separated by fate.
And time goes on…
A boy becomes a successful merchant and takes a beautiful wife.
The girl, too, was discovered by the heir of a noble family who had entered the family to work as a servant. As the wife of a nobleman, she once again takes on the status of a noblewoman.
“Albus, they both married different people. What will happen to them? Will they get married too?”
“You’ll find out… if you keep listening.”
The fates of the two then intersect in various places, such as traveling, peddling, at auction houses, and at balls.
But they never cross paths.
The two protagonists of the story desperately live and desperately grasp their respective happiness.
The audience is left with a sense of loneliness at the thought of these two people crossing paths with each other.
This is what makes this story a tragic love story.
“It’s so…frustrating! It’s like watching Clarice and Burgess…”
“…… I think I know what you mean a little bit.”
A young boy who becomes a merchant somehow finds himself involved in the slave trade, something his parents had told him to never get involved in.
He failed and fell into ruin, and in the end, his wife left him with their child.
The story then switches to the girl.
A girl who has become a beautiful noblewoman.
Although she has no complaints about her daily life, she feels a sense of emptiness.
Then, by the side of the road, something caught her eyes.
It reminds her to old days.
She gave a not inconsiderable amount of gold coins to a man begging while singing a poem the girl used to sing every day.
However, it’s just hypocrisy.
That didn’t make the girl’s emptiness go away.
However, the beggar was in fact the boy she once had feelings for.
Moreover, the two also pass each other by without noticing each other.
With the gold coins, the boy begins a steady business again and becomes a merchant once more.
Finally, he once again became wealthy and happy.
But their stories never crossed paths.
One of them ends with the death of the girl poisoned by her brother-in-law.
It was the boy who sold poison to the girl’s brother-in-law, which was supposed to be a medicine when used in the proper dosage.
“Such a sad ending. Such a sad ending. It’s too much…”
The girl’s body was cremated and turned into ashes, and then sent soaring into the sky.
“Oh, dear, you have dust on your cheeks…”
The young wife brushes a small speck of ash off the merchant’s cheek with her hand.
And when the wife put poison in the merchant’s glass, the …… tragic love story came to its true conclusion.
“The tragic love song of Arken…the story of two people who have been tossed about by a sad fate. I am sure they will be united in the afterlife. Thank you very much for your kind attention.”
Amaranthia’s closing words.
The audience was hushed.